All posts by emmalouisebackeanthro

About emmalouisebackeanthro

I am a PhD candidate in the Anthropology Department of George Washington University, with an MA in Medical Anthropology. My research deals with the politics of care for survivors of gender-based violence in the United States and South Africa, and I do consulting work in international development and global health related to gender. I regularly tweet at @EmmaLouiseBacke.

The Death of Outer Space Dreams: Hard Decisions and a War of Utopian Demands

The Death of Outer Space Dreams: Hard Decisions and a War of Utopian Demands

“What if we found new ways of existing in the harsh places we’ve ruled out on our homeworld, before forcing ourselves into the ecosystems of others? What if we revisited the ways of the ancient sea-faring cultures and the desert nomads? Drawing inspiration not from the speculative but from the real, the here, the now, the pragmatic and the historic.”

Screen Memories, Scarlet Witch & the Complex Grief of Wandavision

Screen Memories, Scarlet Witch & the Complex Grief of Wandavision

“Wanda has unwittingly cast her own tribunal of witnesses, those who are forced to not only see what she’s gone through (the nightmares), but to also quite literally embody and feel the physical pain of her grief. Rather than relying on the story of the traumatic event itself, these residents-cum-performers must experience haptic grief, a kind of sensory solidarity with Wanda. They are the only ones available—though not necessarily willingly—to bear witness to her pain without demanding it be told through a careful and convenient narrative.”

Teaching Digital Anthropology Through Minecraft

Teaching Digital Anthropology Through Minecraft

“They give us virtual-world fixed rules when in our actual-world we know so little. They let us take chances in-world when we can’t adequately asses risk in real life. Games promise free movement when the pandemic has robbed us of so many everyday activities. They offer stimulation, novelty, and opportunities to safely satisfy our primate curiosities. But, most importantly, I think the best games have offered us a place to go either alone or with others. There are comforts in connecting our hands to a keyboard and mouse, suturing our consciousness to the eyes of an avatar, and heading elsewhere.”